My favorite Mike Krzyzewski moment -- and anyone who's been around college basketball has one -- came about 20 minutes after he won the 2010 national championship.
The game was a classic, his Duke team outlasting Butler in the final, completing an unlikely title run for a team that seemed to be a cut below the nation's best that season. Krzyzewski, already a legend, had gone to a different level that night, pulling alongside Adolph Rupp with four championships and behind only John Wooden's 10.
But in typical Coach K fashion, the first question of the postgame press conference didn't please him. It wasn't even a question for him, but rather senior Brian Zoubek, something along the lines of how it felt to go out with a title after an up-and-down career.
"He hasn't had an up-and-down career!" Krzyzewski snapped at the reporter. "He's had a great career, where he's had a foot broken twice. So he's had an injury-marred career. It hasn't been up-and-down."
It was classic Krzyzewski, or at least the Krzyzewski I thought I knew. After the game you just witnessed and the history you just made, THAT question got your dander up, Coach K? And you wonder why much of the country considers it a national holiday when Duke gets put out of the NCAA tournament.
So that's the Coach K I've had in my mind, and that's probably the Coach K you have in yours. Needlessly condescending, intimidating, distant, to the point of being a flat-out jerk.
For years, though, those close to Krzyzewski have insisted there's another side to him. Funny, warm, charming, a side his friends wish he'd show more often. So many people had said it often enough, I assumed that part of him existed.
But I had never seen it. Not until this week.